Home » Posts tagged 'priests'

Filipino priests encouraged to ‘be unafraid,’ support fellow immigrants

November 27th, 2017 Posted in National News Tags: , , ,

By

HOUSTON — Part reunion, part crash course in Catholic teaching and navigating the current political climate both in the U.S. and back home in the Philippines, and part celebration of all things Texas, a national assembly for Filipino priests brought faith and culture full circle in Houston.

Hosted by a local organizing committee, the National Assembly of Filipino Priests is held every three years by the National Association of Filipino Priests of the U.S. and Canada.

Read more »

Comments Off on Filipino priests encouraged to ‘be unafraid,’ support fellow immigrants

Church in Kerala, India, forms support group for transgender people

By

COCHIN, India — The church in India’s Kerala state has formed a group of priests, nuns and laypeople to respond to the pastoral needs of transgender people, reported ucanews.com.

Formed in Cochin under the aegis of Pro-Life Support, a global social service movement within the church, the ministry is significant as it is one of the few outreach programs for the transgender community by the institutional church in India.

A member of the LGBT community attends a pride parade in Bangalore, India Nov. 20, 2016. The church in India's Kerala state has formed a group of priests, nuns and laypeople to respond to the pastoral needs of transgender people. (CNS photo/Jagadeesh Nv, EPA)

A member of the LGBT community attends a pride parade in Bangalore, India Nov. 20, 2016. The church in India’s Kerala state has formed a group of priests, nuns and laypeople to respond to the pastoral needs of transgender people. (CNS photo/Jagadeesh Nv, EPA)

“The whole church has a big role to play,” said Father Paul Madassey, who is in charge of pro-life support for the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council. He noted Pope Francis had talked about the need to give “pastoral care to the LGBT community.”

“There is an active sex racket from North India eyeing transgender people in Kerala. They are trying to exploit the discriminatory situation they face,” Father Madassey told ucanews.com.

India has an estimated 500,000 transgender people. They are often ostracized from their families and, without adequate state support in terms of employment, health and education, end up on the street begging for money or are exploited in the sex trade.

In mid-December, sisters of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel offered their buildings to form an exclusive school for dropouts among transgender people, considered the first of its kind in the country. The nuns offered their venue after at least 50 building owners declined to let out their buildings, indicating the discrimination prevalent in the society, Father Madassey told ucanews.com.

Earlier this year, Caritas India, the social service wing of the Catholic Church, announced a program to fight such discrimination.

Vijaya Raja Mallika, a leading transgender activist in Kerala, is pioneering a three-month pilot school for transgender school dropouts in Cochin. Mallika said the “church has been very supportive” of their struggles.

“Religion plays an important role in social and behavioral change at the grass-roots level,” said Mallika.

Comments Off on Church in Kerala, India, forms support group for transgender people

Almost 600 students attend third annual diocesan Vocations Day

By

Bishop Malooly, the Office of Priestly and Religious Vocations and the Office for Catholic Schools hosted the Third Annual Vocations Day at Holy Cross Parish in Dover, Nov. 9

Rev. Mr. Rich Jasper, a transitional deacon of the Diocese of Wilmington, gives the keynote address Nov. 9 at the Third Annual Diocesan Vocations Day. More than 500 sixth-graders attended the event. (Photo courtesy of Father Norman P. Carroll, director, Office of Priestly and Religious Vocations.)

Rev. Mr. Rich Jasper, a transitional deacon of the Diocese of Wilmington, gives the keynote address Nov. 9 at the Third Annual Diocesan Vocations Day. More than 500 sixth-graders attended the event. (Photo courtesy of Father Norman P. Carroll, director, Office of Priestly and Religious Vocations.)

The event, attended by more than 500 sixth-graders from 17 Catholic schools in the diocese, included a keynote address by Rev. Mr. Rich Jasper, a transitional deacon for the Diocese of Wilmington. Nov. 9 was picked because it’s during Vocations Awareness Week, Nov. 6-12.

In addition to the main presentation, Bishop Malooly along with priests, religious sisters and brothers also talked to the sixth-grade students about their vocations and answered questions about priestly and religious life during smaller group sessions.

For information about vocations in the church, call the diocesan Office of Priestly and Religious Vocations, 302-573-3113.

Comments Off on Almost 600 students attend third annual diocesan Vocations Day

Pope: Good priests don’t own gloves, they get their hands dirty

By

Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Like the Good Shepherd, good priests do not privatize their time and demand to be left alone, but rather are always willing to risk everything in search of the lost sheep, Pope Francis said at the closing Mass of the Jubilee for Priests and Seminarians.
“He stands apart from no one, but is always ready to dirty his hands. A good shepherd doesn’t know what gloves are,” the pope said June 3. Read more »

Comments Off on Pope: Good priests don’t own gloves, they get their hands dirty

Chrism Mass in St. Peter’s: Pope leads priests, bishops, cardinals in renewing their vows

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Priests must identify with people who are excluded and not be blinded by complex theology, an excessively “bubbly” and watered-down spirituality, and worldliness that is more and more accessible in the digital age, Pope Francis said. Read more »

Comments Off on Chrism Mass in St. Peter’s: Pope leads priests, bishops, cardinals in renewing their vows

Grand jury finds priests abused hundreds of children in Altoona-Johnstown diocese

By

ALTOONA, Pa. — Hundreds of children were sexually abused over at least 40 years by priests and other religious leaders in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, a statewide grand jury found.

At least 50 priests or religious leaders were involved in the abuse and diocesan leaders systematically concealed the abuse to protect the church’s image, according to a grand jury report released March 1 by Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane.

U.S. Bishop Joseph V. Adamec is pictured in 2010 during a U.S. bishops meeting in Baltimore. A grand jury report released March 1 by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said  that now-retired Bishop Adamec and his predecessor, Bishop James J. Hogan, had covered up clerical sexual abuse in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown to protect the church's image. (CNS file photo/Nancy Wiechec)

U.S. Bishop Joseph V. Adamec is pictured in 2010 during a U.S. bishops meeting in Baltimore. A grand jury report released March 1 by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said that now-retired Bishop Adamec and his predecessor, Bishop James J. Hogan, had covered up clerical sexual abuse in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown to protect the church’s image. (CNS file photo/Nancy Wiechec)

The report identifies priests and other leaders by name and details incidents going back to the 1970s. Kane said much of the evidence revealed in the report came from archives maintained by the diocese that was only available to the bishops who led the diocese over the decades.

Victims also testified to the grand jury, which was approached by Kane in April 2014 after local law enforcement officials and district attorneys of several counties approached her office with information about the abuse.

Kane said during a news briefing at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona that the investigation was continuing. She said that the actions of law enforcement also are part of the investigation.

“We have had evidence of law enforcement perhaps looking the other way, law enforcement working with the diocese to let the priests move on, retire or go to a psychiatric facility in lieu of charges,” she said.

Kane did not rule out charges being filed against diocesan officials for their role in not reporting abuse and repeated several times that the investigation is unfinished.

The report said the diocese cooperated in the investigation.

Tony DeGol, diocesan secretary for communications, said in a statement that the diocese had received the report and was reviewing it. The diocese pledged to continue cooperating with authorities in their investigation “as part of our commitment to the safety of all children,” the statement said.

“This is a painful and difficult time in our diocesan church,” Bishop Mark L. Bartchak of Altoona-Johnstown said in the statement. “I deeply regret any harm that has come to children, and I urge the faithful to join me in praying for all victims of abuse.”

The diocese continues to follow its youth protection policy, which calls for mandatory reporting of all abuse allegations to law enforcement authorities and requires criminal background checks and education for clergy, employees and volunteers who work with children, the statement said.

Kane echoed the grand jury report in crediting Bishop Bartchak, who was appointed to the diocese in 2011, for reporting abuse allegations to authorities and removing accused priests from ministry.

Kane’s office began investigating abuse claims in 2012 and after two years asked the grand jury to hear evidence that had been gathered. By then the grand jury could not indict any of the suspected abusers because the state’s statute of limitations had expired.

In Pennsylvania, injury victims have two years to file a civil suit while the time frame for filing criminal charges varies, depending on the age of the victim. An assistant to Kane said at the press briefing that the names of priests were included in the report in incidents in which the statute of limitations had expired.

Amy B. Hill, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, said in an emailed statement that the state’s statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases has been raised over the years from age 20 to age 50 for criminal prosecutions and age 20 to age 30 for civil actions.

The Catholic conference has maintained that the statute of limitations not be changed, a stance that is in line with the Task Force for Child Protection, which was established by the General Assembly in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse revelations at Penn State University, Hill said.

The task force, however, recommended an overhaul of state child protection statutes that resulted in more than 20 laws being passed, she said.

As part of its proceedings, the grand jury recommended abolishing the statute of limitations for sexual offenses against minors and urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to suspend the civil statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims.

The report said the grand jury reviewed more than 200 exhibits and heard testimony from an unspecified number of witnesses.

The report provides details of abuse, sometimes in graphic language, by 34 priests against hundreds of victims, some of whom Kane said were as young as 8 years old. It said other complaints had been made against a teacher who was studying to become a deacon, a choirmaster, a coach and members of religious orders.

The investigation uncovered how two bishops since the 1960s had taken steps to prevent scandal from overtaking the diocese by moving priests to new assignments after allegations were made against them and how diocesan officials used their influence with law enforcement and elected officials to prevent criminal charges from being filed against clergy, according to the report.

Grand jurors outlined actions by Bishop James J. Hogan, who led the diocese form 1966 until 1986 when he retired, he died in 2005, and his successor, Bishop Joseph V. Adamec, who retired in 2011, for failing to report abuse allegations to police. Kane said both bishops covered up the abuse to protect the church’s image.

A raid on diocesan offices in August in Hollidaysburg, near Altoona, led to the discovery of what Kane called a “secret archive.” Officials with Kane’s office uncovered dozens of handwritten notes by Bishop Hogan, letters and documents sent to Bishop Adamec, statements from abuse victims, correspondence with offending priests and internal correspondence on clergy abuse matters, the report said.

The grand jury report said the investigation by Kane began after a referral by Kelly Callihan, district attorney in Cambria County, one of eight counties in the diocese, who was investigating child sexual abuse incidents from the 1990s at Bishop McCourt Catholic High School in Johnstown. The investigation also involved the diocese and the Johnstown Police Department, according to the report.

As the investigation gained momentum, officials from the diocese and victims testified to the grand jury.

The report questioned the effectiveness of the diocese’s Allegation Review Board, which as established under the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002. It said that Bishop Adamec appointed its members and that its recommendations went through the bishops’ office for review.

Kane urged sexual abuse victims to turn to law enforcement first to report incidents of abuse rather than the diocese.

Kane’s office also established a hotline for people to report abuse allegations. Victims and witnesses can call (888) 538-8541 to offer information they may have about suspected abuse.

 

Editor’s note: The grand jury’s report can be found online at http://bit.ly/1QRMAn3.

Comments Off on Grand jury finds priests abused hundreds of children in Altoona-Johnstown diocese

Ministry in Syria is about keeping hope alive, priests say

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Even in the midst of constant bombing, Jesuit and Salesian priests remain in war-torn Aleppo, Syria, trying to create a sense of normalcy for those unable to leave.

A refugee woman from Syria carries food while other displaced people sit near a border gate in Kilis, Turkey, Feb. 9. More than 30,000 people are stranded in northern Aleppo province after Turkish government forces closed border crossings. (CNS photo/Sedat Suna, EPA)

A refugee woman from Syria carries food while other displaced people sit near a border gate in Kilis, Turkey, Feb. 9. More than 30,000 people are stranded in northern Aleppo province after Turkish government forces closed border crossings. (CNS photo/Sedat Suna, EPA)

Jesuit Father Sami Hallak has been keeping a crisis journal during his time in Aleppo, narrating daily life as he and hundreds of thousands of the city’s residents cope with the reality of a war that began in March 2011.

In late January, Father Hallak wrote, Islamic State militants “cut the water for reasons still unknown.” Although Jesuit Refugee Service, where Father Hallak works, has a large water tank, the reserves are used with care.

Unless it is designated for drinking, he said, the water is reused two or three times. “If one takes a bath, he puts hot water in a bucket, and the bathing water is carefully collected in a vessel.” The water is then used in the toilets, to wash clothes or to clean the floor.

A portion of Father Hallak’s journal was published Feb. 22 by the Rome-based missionary news agency, AsiaNews.

On his Valentine’s Day entry Feb. 14, he suggested Aleppo sweethearts could use the slogan, “I love you even if you stink.” And, he said, “the most popular gift is a red can … filled with water.”

In five years of fighting, according to the United Nations, more than 250,000 people have been killed, 4.6 million Syrians have been forced to leave the country and 6.6 million are internally displaced.

Father Hallak said he tries to keep up people’s morale in his homilies, even suggesting that the water will be turned back on within a week. A positive attitude, he said, “is our only way to survive.”

Other priests in the area have taken a similar approach. Salesian Father Luciano Buratti, who also works in Aleppo, told the Salesian news agency ANS, Feb. 19, “Our community has chosen to continue our activities as if nothing has happened. We try to offer families a place where they can breathe stability and harmony even in the mid t of chaos.”

Still, he said, “nobody can understand what’s happening, and we don’t know whom we can trust. We were preparing with young people a play to celebrate Don Bosco, and we have to stop because several of them died during the bombing.”

But people need hope and stability, so both parish and youth center events continue to operate as they did before the fighting, Father Buratti said. He also noted that the people remaining Aleppo are those who do not have the means to leave.

Despite the volatile environment, people continue to look for signs of hope, Father Hallak said. In a diary entry, he recounted how a statue at St. Bonaventure Church was damaged by government forces during the fighting.

In a conversation with a plumber Feb.18, he said he was surprised and confused to hear the man call the broken statue a miracle. The plumber said: “The face of the virgin and almost the entire front of the statue remain intact. Her hands clasped in prayer are slightly broken. It’’s a miracle, Father!”

After listening to the plumber’s words, he wrote that many people in Aleppo also forgot that the statue was destroyed and “remember only parts that remained ‘miraculously’ intact.”

By Gaby Maniscalco

 

Comments Off on Ministry in Syria is about keeping hope alive, priests say

In New York vespers service, Francis encourages religious sisters, brothers and priests

By

 

Catholic News Service

NEW YORK — During an evening prayer service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, Pope Francis thanked the nation’s priests, brothers and women religious for their service and gave particular thanks to women religious saying, “Where would the church be without you?”

Pope Francis looks up as he arrives to St. Patrick's Cathedral for an evening prayer service Sept. 24 in New York. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis looks up as he arrives to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for an evening prayer service Sept. 24 in New York. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The pope began with unscripted remarks, extending his sympathy to the Muslim community for the stampede in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, that killed more than 700 people that morning. He offered his “sentiments of closeness in face of tragedy” and his assurance of his prayers. “I unite myself with you,” he added.

The pope arrived by popemobile at St. Patrick’s Sept. 24 after traveling from Washington. He encouraged those with religious vocations and also acknowledged the pain of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the church saying, “You suffered greatly in the not distant past by having to bear the shame of some of your brothers who harmed and scandalized the church in the most vulnerable of her members.”

He said he wished to accompany them “at this time of pain and difficulty.”

Although the pope was speaking in Spanish, a translation of his remarks was posted on large screen TV. The congregation applauded his remarks about women religious in the United States, whom he described as women of strength and fighters and said their “spirit of courage” puts them “in the front lines in the proclamation of the Gospel.”

“To you, religious women, sisters and mothers of this people, I wish to say thank you, a big thank you, and to tell you that I love you very much.”

Speaking to all in the cathedral, he told them: “I know that many of you are in the front lines in meeting the challenges of adapting to an evolving pastoral landscape. Whatever difficulties and trials you face, I ask you, like St. Peter, to be at peace and to respond to them as Christ did: He thanked the Father, took up his cross and looked forward.”

The pope urged those in religious life to be thankful for their many blessings and graces and encouraged them to continue their “spirit of hard work” without getting caught up in “spiritual worldliness” or simply being efficient, which he said can weaken one’s commitment to serve and also “diminishes the wonder of our first encounter with Christ.”

The pope gently reminded the priests and religious men and women that they have “been entrusted with a great responsibility, and God’s people rightly expect accountability from us.”

He also said they need to view their apostolate “by the value it has in God’s eyes” which calls for “constant conversion” and great humility remembering that their job is to plant the seeds and God will see to “the fruits of our labors.”

Pope Francis even warned the priests and religious against surrounding themselves with “worldly comforts,” which they might say would help them serve better. The danger with that, he said, is it slowly but surely “diminishes our spirit of sacrifice, renunciation and hard work. It also alienates people who suffer material poverty and are forced to make greater sacrifices than ourselves.”

“Rest is needed, as are moments of leisure and self-enrichment, but we need to learn how to rest in a way that deepens our desire to serve with generosity. Closeness to the poor, the refugee, the immigrant, the sick, the exploited, the elderly living alone, prisoners and all God’s other poor, will teach us a different way of resting, one which is more Christian and generous,” the pope said.

At the close of the prayer service, New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan welcomed the pope to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and said that once he came through the doors he “became an official New Yorker,” even though “you already have a home in our hearts and souls.”

He told the pope that in the past three years the cathedral, built in 1879, has been going through major renovation, which he likened to the spiritual renewal the pope has asked. “Your presence renews all of us,” he added, urging him to stop by again.

Those in attendance, who included religious and laity from the New York Archdiocese, had waited for several hours in the cathedral for the vespers, or evening prayer.

William Lacerenza of New Rochelle, New York, and his wife, Daniella Raciti-Lacerenza, said the pope has a lot that resonates with New Yorkers.

“He’s a little controversial and I like that. You have to rock the boat sometimes,” said Daniella Raciti-Lacerenza.

William Lacerenza said that as someone who comes from a family of immigrants, even a few generations removed, “it’s a humble reminder” when the pope points out about the immigrants who helped build this country.

“It resonated with me,” he said, and it’s something that a lot of New Yorkers and Americans can identify with, he said.

Even a city that has lot of riches appreciates what the pope is asking of the world, he said.

“He tells us that we have to look out for the poor.” Even people who are wealthy are receptive to the pope’s message, he added: “It’s not lost on them.”

– – –

Contributing to this report was Rhina Guidos.

– – –

Follow Zimmermann and Guidos on Twitter: @carolmaczim, @CNS_Rhina.

Comments Off on In New York vespers service, Francis encourages religious sisters, brothers and priests

Potential ‘missionaries of mercy’ can apply to the Vatican

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is looking for a few good “missionaries of mercy,” priests who are known for their preaching and their dedication to hearing confessions and granting absolution.

If they have their bishop’s or superior’s support, priests interested in being one of the special communicators of God’s mercy are invited to apply online.

The Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, the office Pope Francis charged with coordinating the Holy Year of Mercy, which begins Dec. 8, posted a list of desired qualities and the application form on the Year of Mercy website: http://www.im.va/content/gdm/en/partecipa/missionari.html.

The missionaries will be commissioned formally by the pope and sent out Feb. 10, Ash Wednesday.

The council said the missionaries are to be “a living sign of the Father’s welcome to all those in search of his forgiveness.”

They should be “inspiring preachers of mercy; heralds of the joy of forgiveness; welcoming, loving and compassionate confessors, who are most especially attentive to the difficult situations of each person.”

With an invitation from a local bishop, the missionaries will preach and administer the sacrament of reconciliation during special Year of Mercy events, the council said.

When Pope Francis announced the Holy Year of Mercy, he said he would give the
“missionaries of mercy” special authority or faculties “to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See.”

Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, said the reference to “reserved” sins refers to actions that can bring with them automatic excommunication, for example, abortion when the person is aware of the penalty and commits the sin anyway.

If the person is repentant, he said, the missionaries will be able to remove the excommunication and grant absolution in those cases, which normally require the intervention or permission of the local bishop or the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court.

Comments Off on Potential ‘missionaries of mercy’ can apply to the Vatican

Pope urges Bolivian priests and religious to remember their roots

By

Catholic News Service

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia — Speaking to an audience of Bolivian priests, men and women religious and seminarians, Pope Francis called on them to avoid appearances and superficiality, saying it prevented them coming close to the people they serve.

Nuns participate in entertainment before Pope Francis' arrival for a meeting with priests, religious men and women, and seminarians in the Don Bosco school in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, July 9. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Nuns participate in entertainment before Pope Francis’ arrival for a meeting with priests, religious men and women, and seminarians in the Don Bosco school in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, July 9. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

He also urged the audience, which serves struggling populations in one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere, to never forget their origins or trade popular parlance and humility for elitist trappings designed to differentiate and separate them.

“Give thanks for memory,” the pope said July 9 in the city of Santa Cruz, alluding to the audience’s origins. “Don’t forget where you were pulled from. They pulled you from the back of the pack. Don’t ever forget that.”

The admonishment was another example of the model of a poor church, serving the poor and peripheral places, which Pope Francis has promoted since his election in 2013.

The pope’s three-day trip to Bolivia has assumed political overtones as church and state in the country have had an uneasy coexistence since President Evo Morales was elected a decade ago. Morales, meanwhile, has mixed politics into his public appearances with Pope Francis.

The meeting with priests, religious and seminarians focused on spiritual matters as the pope prodded the audience to avoid indifference and a sense of self-satisfaction with status. It was delivered to a church struggling with vocations as young men are staying away from seminaries and young women are not enrolling in religious life.

“Don’t forget your roots, this culture that you learned from your own people because you have a more sophisticated, more important culture,” Pope Francis said. “There are priests who are ashamed to speak people their original language” — often indigenous — “because they now talk so fine.”

For his speech, Pope Francis drew on the story on responses to the blind beggar Bartimaeus, who, according to the book of Mark, sat on the side of the road called out as Jesus approached. His calls, the pope said, were met with three reactions: “They passed him by; they told him to be quiet; and told him to take heart and get up.”

Each reaction was expanded on the by the pope, who said the story “is still very current.”

“Passing by is the response of avoiding other people’s problems because they do not affect us,” Pope Francis said. “We have the temptation here to see suffering as something natural, to take injustice for granted” or simply say, “That’s not my problem.”

The pope cautioned against “the spirituality of zapping,” a reference to those always being on the go, “but have nothing to show for it” and never connecting deeply with others.

“To pass by without hearing the pain of our people, without sinking roots into their lives and into their world is like listening to the word of God without letting it take root and bear fruit in our hearts,” he said. “Like a tree, a life without roots is a one which withers and dies.”

The response of silencing the other person “recognizes” they are there, but reflects scolding, Pope Francis said.

Some leaders “continually scold others … tell them to be quiet,” he said. “They hear, but they don’t listen.”

“They separate themselves from others,” the pope said, “and have made their identity a badge of superiority.”

Pope Francis used the Spanish word “animo” (“take heart”) to describe the third response. Jesus responded to Bartimaeous by asking what he could do for him. The approach of asking questions, the pope says, “gradually restores the dignity that had been lost” and develops a relationship.

“Far from looking down on him, Jesus was moved to identify with the man’s problems and show the transforming power of mercy,” the pope said.

“Compassion is not about zapping. It is not about silencing pain,” he said. “It is about the logic of love.”

The speech in the Don Bosco Coliseum was part papal talk, part pep rally. Speakers addressing the event acknowledged the challenges for a church in Bolivia, which has traditionally not attracted as many native-born clergy as needed and has stepped up to meet social needs in the absence of the state.

Damian Oyola Ramos, who was born into a family of miners and entered the seminary after finishing a law degree, told the event that there were only 124 seminarians studying at the moment, in a country of approximately 11 million people.

One of the main reasons for the shortage of seminarians, says Bishop Eugenio Scarpellini of El Alto, is that the priests traditionally came from rural areas or less-affluent sections of cities, and the priesthood was seen as a way of achieving a certain social status.

“The way to get ahead now goes down different roads,” Bishop Scarpellini said. “On one hand, there is a sharp reduction in the number of vocations. On the other, I would say that there has been a purification in the motives” of those entering.

 

Comments Off on Pope urges Bolivian priests and religious to remember their roots
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.